Unions say their influence will be especially strong this election year, despite attacks from conservatives, waning numbers and declining public support. Public sector unions have flexed big muscles in both Wisconsin and Ohio this election, and the AFL-CIO recently endorsed President Obama.
The political power of unions was once strong and undeniable, but is that still the case? Does Obama need the unions' support?
"Nationally, union influence is waning," said Patrick Flavin, assistant professor of political science at Baylor University. "Who else would the AFL-CIO endorse other than Obama? General election endorsements matter a lot less than primary season endorsements."
Flavin will join The Daily Circuit Friday to talk about the power of unions in the 2012 presidential election.
"If unions are going to play any role in the re-election of Obama, it would be mobilizing people," he said.